Total underwear collected is 1,407,095
We’re back!! Such a lot to be thankful for this month – we’ve reopened the warehouse, celebrated our 10th birthday (we received charitable status in August 2010) and managed to get over 100,000 new pants and new and gently worn bras out to help people in Africa and the UK who can’t afford or don’t have access to underwear.
Since Smalls began 10 years ago, our focus has been on collecting underwear for women and children. This was because the requests we received were almost all for women and children. We had very few requests for men’s pants – although we’ve always been delighted to receive them. We gave men’s pants to, for example, older teenagers and those going into hospital in Africa to be fitted with prosthetics where having pants saves embarrassment all around.
Since changing our constitution in 2019 to support those in the UK who have a need for underwear, we’ve seen an increase in demand for men’s pants. The majority of requests we receive from those supporting the homeless in the UK are for men’s pants, and the requests we receive from, for example school uniform banks, include requests for older boys.
The need for underwear to help those unable to afford or who don’t have access to it remains very real and we want to support everyone who needs underwear.
If you’d like to help, here’s what we need:
- Brand new pants for women (UK size 8-14)
- Brand new pants for girls and boys (aged 3-15)
- Brand new pants for men (UK size XS-L)
- New or gently worn bras (all sizes)
To find out more, please see https://www.smallsforall.org/get-involved/donate/.
While everyone’s experience of lockdown will have been different, I think we would all agree that adjusting to the ‘new normal’ hasn’t been without its challenges. Speaking for myself, Smalls has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years and to have to close the warehouse and ask people to stop sending their donations was difficult, even though I knew there wasn’t an option. The safety and wellbeing of the Smalls volunteers was my main priority. Early on in lockdown, I was also worried about the future of Smalls, how countries in Africa would fare, whether we’d still be able to get underwear to those that needed it, how I could open the warehouse safely, whether the volunteers would come back – and 101 other things! I’m grateful that a lot of my fears were unfounded. The warehouse is open with measures in place to keep everyone safe and well, the volunteers are back looking forward to opening and sorting your donations, and we managed to get underwear to 5 organisations in the last month. I also want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and for holding onto their donations while our warehouse was closed. It meant a great deal to know the support for Smalls was still there.
Since our last Talking Pants, we’ve given 105,090 pairs of new pants and new and gently worn bras to the following organisations:
- Days for Girls who organised 1,250 pairs of new pants for their hygiene kits.
- Susan Flynn who collected 2,000 pairs of new pants for the Lotus Project in Malawi.
- Simon Community Scotland who picked up 288 pairs of new pants and gently worn bras.
- West Lothian uniform bank who collected 1,552 pairs of new pants.
- NPAC who collected 100,000 pairs of new pants and new and gently worn bras.
As a reminder, the address for donations is Five Sisters Business Park, Westwood, West Calder, EH55 8PN. Please remember we can only acknowledge receipt if you enclose your email address. Thank you.